Integrating Your Mystic Ally


This month we have focused on helping you to tune into the perspectives and Vision of your MYSTIC Archetype Ally. All of us have this aspect, this ‘energy of the unconscious’ that is available to us always, so long as we listen for and accept Its input.

The Twelve primary Archetype persona forms are most helpful to us when they are consciously enlisted to serve the Self and especially when they are allowed to form an integrated Council.


I like to call this your Ensemble Cast of Mythic Archetype Allies, similar to Dorothy’s cast of Tin Man (Shadow Lover)/ Cowardly Lion (Shadow Warrior)/ Scarecrow (Shadow Teacher)/ Glinda (Mystic)/ and Toto (Animus) in the Wizard of OZ. Once these cast members work together in harmony, they come into their greatest Strengths and together they successfully rescue the Self from its imprisonment within the Shadow Descender’s (Witch’s) castle, dissolving the negative energy of the Descender altogether as the Integrated Self (Dorothy) assimilates that energy as a positive Strength and ultimately; well, you know the Story (it is yours too): She GOES HOME as a mature, well integrated “Total Self System” (my phrase). I figure after all of this, Toto is going to be okay. Dorothy has the Heart, Mind, and Courage fully self-realized to manage the intrusive neighbor and to assure Toto will not bother the neighbor’s garden any more.


images from

Imagine a large, Round Table, reminiscent of King Arthur’s table at Camelot. There are thirteen seats around the table, for The Twelve primordial Archetype Allies, and the Self. Place an issue on the Table in some form (a request or an inquiry about a situation about which you would like a “concerted” input from your Inner Council). Imagine (listen to inwardly) or write out the conversation wherein various of your Ensemble Council members contribute their perspective or advice.  Take note of all suggestions received. Allow the Council to discuss the situation from all angles, among themselves and with You. Consider this input deeply; it may carry unconscious Truth beyond your conscious mind’s tendencies to conceptualize.  Express GRATITUDE to each and All for their input and constant Presence.

                                                                                Artist   Idealist   Nourisher    Self      Lover   Teacher  Elder-Leader


                                                                              Warrior   Mystic     Descender   Communicator   Healer  Golden-Child

The Descender in You


shared from LIORA  

Within each of us reside The Twelve: universal archetypal energy modes or traits that affect our development of character throughout our lives. These twelve show up in the social roles we enact in connection with our relationships and our activities; in our job or career ‘personas’ at work, in our dreams and daydreams or fiction writing, in our sports, hobbies, service roles, spirituality, travel, and at rest. Have you noticed how you might “shift gears” from one role perspective to another, drawing upon or expressing different inflections of your dynamic, diverse Self? Do you sometimes even hear ‘voices’ that seem to come from somewhere within yourself yet that are distinctly focussed on a specific intention?

Your archetypal inner cast of character modes dwell both in the Above and the Below. They are interwoven with your day to day presentation of Self, as the sociologist Erving Goffman would describe, yet they also inhabit or perhaps more properly “live” within your personal (and collective) unconscious, realms of IMAGE and STORY; the same realms in which many of your most significant dreams unfold.  These are real energy modes or beings; parts of your very Self that have formed out of universal primordial energies interacting with the development of your identity over time and across situations.

Archetypal character forms can have both positive and/or negative sorts of influences on the person you are in any given context; upon the person you have become til now and are becoming. We can refer to the positive archetypal traits that show up in your conscious attitudes and behavior as Strengths. Each archetypal part-of-Self may also have its Shadow side pertaining to your fears or inhibitions or negative tendencies.


The Twelve universal archetype character modes we will be exploring this year are based on the archetypal psychology works of Dr. Charles Bebeau and archetypal psychotherapists Nin Bebeau and Debra J. Breazzano (whose works I will present further in my book and handbook, Life Paths. The twelve, organized vertically according to their associated Elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water) and horizontally according to their energy modes (Originating, Maintaining, Dissolving), are:





Since these 12 have astrological associations according to Dr. Bebeau, who bases these on ancient Sumerian astrological and mythological figures, I will introduce them here according to their main astrological month. Hence, being November/ in Scorpio, I will begin this week by introducing the DESCENDER.


The Descender archetype is not the same as what Jung would call the Shadow. In fact, all twelve of the universal archetype modes have Shadow forms, including the Descender; yet Descender also brings positive Strengths to our building and expression of Self.

So, who is the DESCENDER in You?


Your Descender might show up in your dreams as someone or something literally dwelling in a “below” or interior place, like a basement or cave. Or you might see the Descender in your dreams or daydreams as one who engages in Descent, going “Down” from one place or stage to a deeper, lower, darker domain. As well as in your dreams, your Descender energy may show up in your waking life in relation to particular situations or circumstances. You can learn much from when your Descender appears.


As a fairly introvertive person, I have a lot of the Descender in me, both consciously in my outer self-expression and unconsciously/ inwardly. I see my Descender usually as a young girl in my dreams; I feel her as a young girl who lives in a low-lit space like the lower level of a tri-level home in the body of my self-identity. She is largely a loner, though connected closely with my conscious Self like a protected–and protective–daughter. She is an observer of my outer activities but prefers not to participate directly with most of the people-interactions I maintain from day to day. My very special friends are her friends, too, though, so she takes more part in our activities with them, like hiking, playing games, talking deeply or going to a movie.


“Oddly”, I have always preferred to sleep in Descender sorts of spaces. As a child, when not sharing a bedroom with my older sister, I preferred to sleep on my father’s old army cot, either in the basement or in an unfinished attic. This gave freedom to my very imaginative Descender–I call her Lindy. She loves the texture of such dark spaces. These dark, quiet spaces I share with her provide a portal for my creative ideas and fantasies. I would often sneak out when I slept in my family’s basement as a teen, just to slip out into the fertile darkness of the night. I experienced there a natural freedom and sense of adventure upon which Lindy thrives.

Still today, I live in a tri-level home. Two fully furnished bedrooms are in the upper level where my housemate sleeps, but I sleep downstairs on a futon, with my pets. In this ‘descent’ zone, every night I contemplate, write in my journals, and dream!


Who is Your DESCENDER? What is s/he like? When does s/he appear in your life? Do you constrain, resist, or express your Descender inclinations? What name might you give her or him? How does s/he appear in significant dreams you have had?

What have you learned or could you gain from listening to and nurturing your Descender? What Strengths does s/he bring to you? Does s/he also hold some of your fears or negative antisocial tendencies?

Remember to acknowledge and to love and care for the Descender part of yourself. My goal for us all this year in this blog in recognizing our archetypal facets of Self is to gradually integrate and unify these aspects as an Ensemble Cast of Archetype Allies.

red diamond 3d

I invite your Comments and Stories!



A Constellation of Your Archetype Allies for Better Endings



For those of you following this blog or who have at least read last Tuesday’s post here, I can report that the dialogue with my Healer archetype (which I continued in greater depth in privacy after posting the excerpt) proved very helpful. I was able to take a small but meaningful step in the direction of my own Life Dream! So, I am thankful to the blog, and to you all as a collective “someone” (and as individuals) to share this WITH, for the opportunity to explore my own archetypal reservoir.


This week I have been contemplating the idea of a CONSTELLATION in relation to an ensemble cast of archetypal character modes. Look at this image of Orion, for instance. What makes a stellar constellation more than a random arrangement of stars observed in the night sky? Although it is true that people of different cultures may recognize different constellations more or less, and though of course they will attach different connotations even to shared constellation images, still there is something about a constellation that is like a gestalt, whereby “the sum (total pattern) is greater than the sum of its parts.” I have noticed this in written word forms, too. Think about it; once you rearrange a scrambled word, as in a word game like Scrabble or Words with Friends, doesn’t it just feel better to see the word in its meaningful form?

For example:   NAMGAITION becomes “IMAGINATION”; doesn’t that just FEEL “right” and “better” than the scrambled letters?

So then, let’s turn back to our weekly theme of Your Archetype Allies. The example I usually give to help people understand the concept of a “mythic ensemble cast of Archetype characters” is Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz with her ensemble cast of unrealized or non-integrated parts of Self in the form of the Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion (and with Toto as her Animus companion). Notice how as the story unfolds, each of these character shards, as it were, gain strength individually while also gradually forming a coherent unit of archetypal Allies, manifesting fully in the scene in which the 3 (plus Toto) literally don Warrior uniforms and act as a collective, harmonious unit to rescue Dorothy from the Wicked Witch’s castle.  Once this well integrated unit is fully assembled, with Dorothy in the Center again, they have the combined strength needed to accomplish their Mission: to dissolve the energy of the negative Witch. Dorothy can then assimilate and convert that negative power to a positive energy, first by taking the broomstick of the Witch of the West and then ultimately by learning to ‘stand in her own power,’ symbolized by the ruby slippers.

Whenever you think of The Wizard of Oz, you think of the ensemble assembly, right? Dorothy does not act “alone.” Even after she returns to Kansas (her “Conscious” domain; I just realized how similar those words are!), we know that her Allies will always be available in her Unconscious (“not in Kansas anymore!”) Land of Oz.


So let’s return to YOUR QUEST: a meaningful goal you aim to achieve that you feel a need to develop Strengths for in order to ultimately pursue and attain it fully. Reviewing the Twelve Universal Archetypes I have presented this week, I invite you to consider what COMBINATION of these Archetypal characters, in either Strength or Shadow trait modes (see Sunday and Tuesday’s posts this week for brief descriptions of their character traits), might form a proper CONSTELLATION of Archetypal Allies which could, by serving together as co-workers with You as the central Self, help you to go after and to realize your Goal?

Below I include an Archetype Wheel. This shows the same Universal 12 Archetypes developed by Dr. Charles and Nin Bebeau (and Debra J. Breazzano, M.A.,LPC) that I will be introducing more formally in LIFE PATHS and that appear in descriptions within Sunday and Tuesday’s posts this current week. This Wheel represents how these 12 primordial archetype figures relate to the four elements (Earth, Air, Fire and Water) and to the three stages of any process (I=origination,II=maintenance and III=dissolution).


What CONSTELLATION or combination of the above Archetype Characters could YOU unite with to form a strong ALLIANCE GROUP that can help you achieve your specific Goal? Please see if you can identify a subset of these 12 Universal Archetype figures that you can enlist to accomplish your goal.

I invite you to journal about, talk about, and engage in active imagination with the individual members of your Archetypal Constellation! Get to know each one, their strengths and weaknesses, hopes and fears, and what they bring to the Assembly that can help you to realize your Goal. You might wish to write a narrative STORY about you and your Archetypal Constellation–like in the Wizard of Oz–that envisions your goal and how your ensemble cast could act together as an ensemble cast to realize your goal or Life Dream!


I invite your Insights and Stories!

Just Sit Right Back and You’ll Hear a Tale…


Lately Gilligan’s Island reruns are back in my locale, and I’ve found myself tuning in now and then. As we’ve been focusing on television Better Endings all this week, I’ve come to realize something about Gilligan’s Island that I never understood before.

Like Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz, and Hawkeye Pierce of M.A.S.H. (as Brenda helped us realize this week), or any “central” protagonist within an ensemble cast of characters who regularly interact through a series of adventures, Gilligan is the SELF character of the archetypal ensemble marooned together on—after all—Gilligan’s Isle.  The rest of the characters he is marooned with represent archetypal aspects of Gilligan’s unindividuated Self, in Jungian terms; and the purpose of the castaways’ adventures is to help Gilligan to strengthen and integrate these projected shards of Self, to individuate as a more mature, responsible person. Then, presumably, he can go Home.


So what is Gilligan needing to develop in himself? His intellect—the Professor; his leadership capacity—the Skipper; feminine traits of two Anima complexes—the graceful Movie Actress Ginger and the girlish, giggly Marianne; and the acquisitiveness and pomposity of the wealthy Howell’s, who represent the opposite of Gilligan’s rather lackadaisical lifestyle. Gilligan does come to manifest, over time through his dreams and island adventures with his ensemble cast, all of those qualities these projected other-than-Self characters exhibit. He often comes up with the “brilliant idea” that trumps even the Professor’s experiments. He plays the Howell’s son at times, benefitting from their largesse. He displays his own girliness at times, while interacting with the Women. And always, he lives in the Skipper’s rather corpulent shadow, hardly daring to assert himself but often being called upon by the Skipper energy itself to step up and step forward, learning greater responsibility along the way.

Working together, episode after episode, adventure after adventure and dream after dream, eventually Gilligan’s ensemble cast of castaways learn to better communicate and cooperate with one another, so that, with the season’s “Return to Gilligan’s Island” finale, they do return to their separate lives in Hawaii, each of them having been strengthened, especially Gilligan.  Ironically though, after each character experiences disorientation in modern society after 15 years away, the two-part finale actually ends with the group again taking a cruise together, again running into a tropical storm, and again becoming marooned, right at the same island they had left!

So here’s a fun exercise for you:

Fill in the following blank with YOUR first name:    _______________’s Island.

Who are you marooned with, that you interact with regularly, either at home or at work or in some other context? What archetypal QUALITIES do your individual castaway crew members represent to you or about you? Who among them expresses character traits you wish were stronger in yourself? Whose behavior do you distance yourself from, though secretly you might admire or else fear you in some ways resemble that person? Whom do you depend upon to do things you could be doing on your own; or conversely, do you allow someone to depend on you to do things they are capable of doing—and more—without you?

What are your own goals with respect to your ensemble cast situation? How can you get off the Island together?

(AFTER tvkapherr’s Comment: I neglected to add that of course just as our Other-alters are archetypal projected images as we interact with them, so are WE to them. And some would add this can also extend to all of us being projected images of the Divine.)

So this is all in good fun. Do feel quite welcome to Comment and share your insights and stories, if you feel so inspired!

Ahoy, Mateys!


Sifting for Gold


I woke with an image today of a piece of meat that had been hammered to tenderize it, and I sensed nonverbally that it meant I should shift my approach this week to “sifting” rather than “pounding” on a topic. So what might that mean for the topic of television Better Endings?

What are some benefits we may sift from the dross of television fare? I’d say when we become interested in or identified with either one character or an entire ensemble cast, and when we are witness over time to positive transformations in those ‘character arcs’, this can lead to personal growth and development in ourselves, by association.

So I invite you to focus on some transformational storylines from TV to uncover Life Lessons you have gained insights about through the adventures and interactions of some of your favorite characters. Transformational storylines require some basic character “flaws” initially that may get resolved or transformed over time.

M.A.S.H. comes to mind. We see in this popular sitcom an ensemble cast of rather disparate seeming characters at first, who have been thrown together at a medical triage station near the front lines in South Korea, during the Korean War. But since nothing is truly accidental, especially in storytelling, this odd assortment of personalities is actually not random at all. Let’s explore the key characters and traits they represent, traits that may have archetypal reflections for the audience!


 M.A.S.H. Character Traits:  Strengths/ Weaknesses

Maj. Hawkeye Pierce  jokester, intelligent, man of conscience / sarcastic, cynical, drinks alot

Maj. John ‘Trapper’ McIntyre  comical, blythe, accomplice to Pierce / buffoon-like, shallow

Maj. B.J. Hunnicut   loyal friend to Pierce, introspective, good husband / depressive

Sgt. Radar O’Reilly  acquisitive, resourceful, ‘common man’/ self-abnegating at times

Maj. Margaret Hoolihan  military upbringing, sharp, crisp leader / promiscuous, overbearing

Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester III  intelligent, highly educated, musician / out of his element, snooty

Col. Sherman Potter   competent but “allowing”, retirement aged / dismissive of order

Col. Henry Blake    fatherly, compassionate / drinks too much, gullible at times

Priv. Maxwell Klinger  passionate, rulebreaker, inverts norms / overly self-oriented, escapist

Father John Patrick Mulcahy   pious, resourceful, caring / doubtful at times, sense of inadequacy

Major Frank Burns   rule-governed, hapless luck / awkward, philandering

Over the many seasons that the TV series MASH was on the air, most of these characters experienced major epiphanies that led to subtle and sometimes extreme character transformations.  All of them experienced together what the anthropologist Victor Turner would call “shared liminality” resulting in  “communitas”. Liminality is the ‘between and betwixt’ situation of these characters overall in the war context: they have been stripped from their lives in normal society and they are caught “in the margins”; in the nebulous, dangerous shadowland of the MASH unit. They attain communitas by putting aside their individual differences of rank and their normal social status as civilians in order to realize their common goal of administering medical aid to wartime victims, serving together as a well-organized team.

In the context of interactional encounters that occurred over time through the series, our key characters faced their own weaknesses, and developed their strengths, over and over again.  As we laughed at their foibles and reveled at their strengths, we laughed ALONG with them, as at our own selves. This is how this ensemble cast came to mirror our own archetypal traits, as Americans perhaps, but moreso as humans immersed in the “human comedy” of life.

You can reflect for yourself about how the individual MASH characters transformed over time. What Life Lessons can we sift from our collective memories of this beloved TV series? Put aside our differences to exercise Conscience in response to terrifying threats. Learn to laugh at ourselves and be grateful for Friendship, that overlooks or tolerates our foibles, at least, and that fosters and supports our efforts at change and growth, at best.


The series finale of MASH was culturally iconic and ‘expiative’ of all of the ills of warfare. Hawkeye Pierce suffers a nervous breakdown and submits to psychoanalysis. This betokens a human epiphany that was central to the overall message of MASH—which provided a metaphor for the Viet Nam War and its aftermath in the American collective conscience. War is brutal and potentially destructive to the human spirit, Pierce’s breakdown asserts. Human conscience and sensitivity will not allow the vicissitudes of war to triumph. Hawkeye responds well to analysis but he will go home a changed man, a doctor in a home town community where he will get to know his patients personally, as individuals.

******   ******

It’s in the in-between
that the real magic happens.
The seeds are planted,
the roots take hold…
and we blossom into who
we were meant to be.

~ Kristen Jongen
re-blogged today from Brenda’s